Focusing on You: Team of Experts Offers Holistic Approach to Patient Care

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Doctor discusses how small lifestyle changes lead to better outcomes for cancer survivors.

Tracy Crane, Ph.D., RDN, Co-Leader of the Cancer Control Research Program and associate professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, explains how Sylvester’s multidisciplinary team of experts offers patients a holistic approach to treatment that addresses their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Marilyn is one of those patients.

MEET MARILYN ROUSSEAU:

Four years ago, Marilyn Rousseau was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I was terrified. I was scared. I just didn't know what to do,” Marilyn says.

She went to see a Sylvester oncologist – which gave her access to a multidisciplinary team of experts. Tracy Crane Ph.D., RDN, Co-Leader of the Cancer Control Research Program, says the focus is on patients’ physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. 

“You're getting wonderful state-of-the-art cutting-edge treatment from your physician team, but you also have this team of scientists and lifestyle medicine experts that are also here along the way to help optimize your treatment outcomes, and then all the way into survivorship so that your quality of life is the best it can be,” says Dr. Crane.

This holistic approach includes dieticians and exercise physiologists who tailor personalized treatment plans based on a patient’s specific needs.

“We know that diet and physical activity can also attenuate symptoms such as fatigue, depression. So, not only are we focused on this for the long-term survival benefit, but we're also focused on this for the short-term benefits as well,” Dr. Crane says.

Marilyn says working out during and after her treatment made a world of difference. 

“Very nice, Marilyn!” says exercise physiologist, Christopher Fitzmaurice.

“Even after we have a diagnosis of cancer, there's still so much we can do that's in our control to make things better,” Dr. Crane says.

Marilyn now coaches women on taking control of their health and says the Sylvester team saved her life.

“They really care about the entire person,” says Marilyn.